Interpretation of Indian Tricolor Flag

When I was in school, I learnt the implication of the Indian flag. The Saffron indicates renunciation, the White indicates purity of life and the Green indicates prosperity.

Interestingly, these three map to the four purushaarthaas of four goals of man – artha (security), kaama (comfort), dharma (values) and moksha (freedom).

Artha and kaama constitute prosperity. That comes at the bottom most in the flag.

The values give purity in life. The values are enumerated as the five regulations listed by Patanjali. (You can find a detailed discussion in the lecture titled “Ten Commandments of Hinduism” at

  1. satya (truthfulness) – perfect match between knowledge, intention, word and deed
  2. ahimsa (non-violence) – not harming any creature by thought, word and deed
  3. aasteya (non-stealing) – absence of unfair acquisition or possession
  4. aparigraha (non-possession) – absence of possession or consumption beyond what is reasonably required. Another way to interpret aparigraha is that whatever one has, it is for the society as mentioned by Aurobindo in his speech at
  5. brahmacharya (continence) – decent and appropriate attitude towards the other gender

By putting values above prosperity, it indicates that prosperity should not be at the cost of values.

The final goal is moksha – freedom from all emotional dependence. The ability to be peaceful and cheerful in the midst of the ups and downs of life is called moksha. This comes from a deep understanding and conviction that security, happiness and peace does not come from external objects, people and situations. This is real independence. You can find a wonderful lecture titled “Dependence to Independence” at Political independence of the country is only a means for each of us to attain this emotional independence.

This is objective of all prosperity and values. So this is put at the top most.


About gokulmuthu

A student of Advaita Vedanta in the light of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramana Maharishi, etc.
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